May 23, 2015

How to win spiritual battles

1 Chronicles 12:1–13:14, 1 Timothy 6:11–21, Psalm 81:1–82:8

“Now these are the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he could not move about freely because of Saul the son of Kish. And they were among the mighty men who helped him in war.... For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God.” (1 Chronicles 12:1, 22)

David’s army was composed of bowmen who “could shoot arrows and sling stones with either the right or left hand,” and experts with shield and spear “with faces like the faces of lions.” Some of the “least were a match for a hundred men and the greatest for a thousand.”

These were brave warriors and their numbers were large, possibly 350,000 men. Several verses describe how the supporters who stayed home supplied them with food. All of this shows the leadership ability of David.

I am reminded that Jesus is called a Son of David, not just because David is in His ancestry, but because David was a type or shadow of Jesus. This OT king was not perfect, but his leadership skills pointed ahead to the greatest Leader who also has a greater army.
Those who believe in Jesus are warriors, fighting battles, but not the same as the battles David fought. The NT army of God fights with different weapons against different foes. We are more than conquerors because Jesus has already defeated the leader of the dark side.

While the number of Christians from those early days until now is an immense army, sometimes the saints of God fight spiritual battles seemingly alone, or at least without human help. It has been said that with God on my side, I am a majority. This is true, but my battles against the liar, Satan, often are attacks involving that sense of being alone and without the support of other Christians or even God. In times like that, the Word of God is a warrior beside me, encouraging me to victory, not over physical enemies, but over evil.

“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:11–12)

My battle is to keep my faith in every situation, to persist in trusting and holding my ground. Of course my Leader helps me. He says that He will never leave me or forsake me. He reminds me of all the examples in the OT of how He persisted with His people Israel, even when they failed to trust Him and follow Him. As the psalmist says, all I need is to be open to His offer....

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways! I would soon subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes.” (Psalm 81:10–14)

Every time temptation comes and I yield to God asking for grace, He gives it. He subdues my enemies in the blink of an eye, making me glad that I live under the new covenant. My weapons are not spears and swords, but the love and support of God’s people and the mighty arm of God. I have victory over sin because of Jesus. All I need to do is whisper a small breath of prayer, and my loving and almighty God comes to fight for me.

No comments: